A couple of weeks ago I gathered with many other women in an estrogen-packed room to watch a live stream of the IF Conference. The platform of the conference being “If God is real [and we believe He is], then what?” What does that mean for us as women? Do we live like he is real? Do we love like He is real? Are we actively throwing off “everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” us?
We were challenged by amazing speakers and I walked away with a heightened awareness of the beauty of Christ that I saw in the lives of my sisters through their authenticity, their worship and their stories. There were 1,000’s of women around the world viewing this conference and it made me think about the vast collection of gifts that were gathered together. Some speakers, some writers, some teachers, some prophets, some hostesses, some administrators, some gifted with healing, some gifted with divine wisdom. And all these gifts coming together for the common good. It was a beautiful picture of the body. It was a beautiful picture of beauty. True beauty. And for a moment it sliced through the facade of beauty that bombards our minds daily with altered images that keep us running on treadmills [literally and figuratively] of comparison.
And let’s be honest, how many of us struggle in the murky waters of comparison? [Insert virtual show of hands] My flesh is just one big ticking time bomb of insecurity and if left unchecked, comparison will move right in like an unwanted in-law and make a mess of things. I can be so quick to judge myself against the looks or performance of another that I even catch myself off guard. Guarding my heart and mind is such a proactive thing but I often find myself in a reactive stance. Reacting to the snaky whispers that seem real but are lies. Believing the truth takes training. The lies feel easier to believe and so faith must be a muscle strengthened within me so that God’s Word becomes louder than the snaky whispers. The enemy is prowling. We must be vigilant. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Pet 5:8).
Victory in the area of body image/comparison has been slow in my life…mostly because I am a slow learner. Or shall I say…slow truster. Slow to take God at his word & move on with eyes fixed on Jesus – the Beautiful One. But when all of my feeble efforts to place any portion of my identity in my outward appearance leave me wanting, I am reminded of this truth: beauty cannot be found apart from Jesus. If I want my life to be beautiful to those around me than I must spend time gazing at the Beautiful One. And then, with face transformed as Moses‘ on Mt. Sinai, my countenance will reflect his radiance.
Oh, for my face to be lifted amidst the hum drum of every day life so that God’s Word might give light to my eyes. And when others see that light, I can point them back to the source – my sweet Savior, the Light of The World. May that light not be dimmed in us by taking our eyes off of Jesus to look to the left or to the right. Only with eyes fixed on the Beautiful One will our lives become more beautiful. Let’s look to him sisters, that our faces may be radiant amidst a culture desperately searching for true beauty.